Doncaster eye up move for highly-rated Cork defender McLoughlin
League One side Doncaster Rovers are ready to make a move for Cork City defender Sean McLoughlin.
A Doncaster delegation led by manager Grant McCann travelled to watch McLoughlin (21) play for the Leesiders in Sunday's FAI Cup final defeat.
They have been impressed by the centre-half who signed a new contract during the summer which ties him down to the Turner's Cross club until the end of next year.
But Doncaster are prepared to dig into their pockets to bring McLoughlin across the water now. It's understood that Cork's valuation of McLoughlin would be in the £250,000 (€285,000) bracket.
Doncaster would be looking to do business for a lower figure, but it is expected that they will enter negotiations with Cork City in an attempt to strike a deal.
They are also likely to face competition for the signature of a player who joined Cork from UCC last summer and has made a smooth transition to senior football.
McLoughlin has broken into the Ireland U-21 squad off the back of his performances for John Caulfield's side.
Cork have indicated that they will be cutting their budget for next season after missing out on the Champions League so funds from a player sale could help them to strengthen in other areas.
City followers are already bracing themselves for a winter of change with Caulfield admitting after Sunday's final that a number of out-of-contract players would be departing.
That contingent includes Kieran Sadlier who is also understood to be on Doncaster's radar - although McLoughlin is their main target.
Sadlier has a number of options in England and the Sussex-born former Irish underage international has indicated he will take time to consider his next move.
"It's been a long season. I'm only 24 and this is only my third full season to be playing," said Sadlier.
"I want to take a break and recharge really.
"I'll be going back on Tuesday night to England with my family and have a break there before I make any decisions."
The long off-season certainly allows plenty of period for reflections.
It was announced yesterday by the FAI that the new Premier Division season will kick off on Friday, February 15 with the First Division beginning a week later.
The mid-season break has been retained with the FAI Cup final due for Sunday November 3 - rugby commitments at the Aviva are an obstacle to pushing that date back.